Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chasing Turkeys and Getting Sick

Thanksgiving Day I raced in the Turkey Chase 10k in Bethesda. I hate this race. A lot. It's really hilly and I always get stuck running with the UMD XC team. In the first 2 miles they do nothing but chit-chat amongst themselves. This leads to half of them dying off before halfway, and the other half zipping ahead. That leaves me in the middle with 1-2 other confused souls. It wasn't a BAD race but it wasn't great either. I eased off the gas way too much when we got to the city, worried I was pushing the hills too hard and lost the group I was with. I ended up having to run Old Georgetown Rd pretty much alone, with no one in sight behind me and the next guy about 10sec ahead. It was a little uphill and windy, so it wasn't amenable to catching anyone. I passed Jerry and he later noted it didn't look like I was working/racing hard. I think he's right. I did enjoy my time out there, which I never do when I'm running hard. The main thoughts in my head when I'm running fast/hard are "wow, this hurts" and "I so badly want to stop NOW"... those have been my thoughts in fast or PR races. I certainly wasn't feeling like that at Turkey Chase! I ended up with a 34:32 and 11th overall, certainly not an impressive time by any stretch, but I'll take an improvement over last year's Chase, when I was cramping and dying.

The lesson? I need to get competitive at Clubs. No more being passive and afraid of going out hard. I just have to go with the race. No being conservative. I need to be aggressive. Fitness is good, but I need to just get my mind in the race, like it was in the Spring.

Friday I ran an easy 6 with Jordan on the trails, legs felt pretty loose after the 10k, which leads me to believe I held back yet again.

Saturday I took the day OFF, completely. First day off in a long time. And another first in a long time... I started to get sick. Sore throat - here comes a cold! Is that what happens when I take days off? Geez. I immediately went on a vicious offensive, gulping down zincs, tea, yogurt and broth. I hate being sick.

Sunday I woke up with a pretty sore and dry throat, but still went out for a 13mi run with PMurph, Matias and Jimmy. Probably not wise to go 13, but did it anyway. Couldn't swallow at all but put in a decent effort in the last 3 miles... although really just because I wanted to be done. My condition got worse throughout the day, and I was pretty uncomfortable by the evening.

Monday the throat was a little better, but still quite dry and sore and being replaced by pressure in the sinuses. I ran 6.5mi in the evening and actually started to feel a little better.

Tuesday AM I ran too much again, 10 with Jake, Karl and Sam and an extra 2-3mi going from and to my car. I initially felt good and the sore throat was virtually gone but started feeling worse later in the day.

Wednesday I felt pretty yucky during the day, lots of pressure in the sinuses, coughing and sneezing a lot at work. Felt a little better by the evening, but it definitely affected my track workout with GRC, 4xmile (5:15, 5:05, 4:55, 4:45). I knew the 4:45 would be really tough healthy, but still feeling sick I wasn't sure of what would happen. Strangely enough I felt really (and I mean, REALLY) good for the first 3 miles, in which we hit paces exactly. I was surprised. But 400m into the last interval I felt tired pretty quick and felt like my breathing became very restricted. I went for another 800m and dropped once I hit the 1200 (was on 4:45 pace through 1000m). Legs felt fine, but I was struggling to breathe properly. I chalk it up to the cold, and it was also pretty chilly out... it had been pretty warm here during the week so it was a bit of a shock, coupled with still feeling under the weather, I think I was going to suffer. But at least I got most of it done, that I feel good about.

Ok, so I need to focus on a few things. The hardest workouts are done, it's time to think about resting, getting fully healthy and making sure my mind is in the right place. I have to admit, I am really excited about Clubs. Zwama told me on the phone tonight that an XC 10k is one of the most painful races one can do, but that got me even more stoked. Just have to make sure I arrive in Seattle all systems go.

No comments:

Post a Comment